Commerce Bancshares Inc. announces slightly higher fourth quarter earnings

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Commerce Bancshares, Inc., which operates Commerce Bank locations throughout Metro East, says it had earnings of 68 cents per common share for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2016, compared to 65 cents per share in the prior quarter and 60 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Net income attributable to Commerce Bancshares, Inc. for the fourth quarter amounted to $71.6 million, compared to $68.5 million in the prior quarter and $63.7 million in the same quarter last year. For the quarter, the return on average assets was 1.14 percent, the return on average common equity was 11.5 percent and the efficiency ratio was 61.8 percent.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2016, earnings per common share totaled $2.61 compared to $2.43 in 2015, or an increase of 7.4 percent. Net income attributable to Commerce Bancshares, Inc. amounted to $275.4 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2016, compared to $263.7 million in 2015. In 2016, the return on average assets was 1.12 percent, and the return on average common equity was 11.3 percent.

In announcing these results, David W. Kemper, chairman and CEO, said, “Overall, Commerce saw strong performance in 2016, with loan growth of 8 percent and growth in earnings per share of 7 percent. Loan growth was solid this quarter, as average loans grew $231 million, or 7 percent annualized. This increase resulted from higher business real estate loan demand, coupled with good growth in residential mortgage and other consumer loans. Average deposits grew $388 million this quarter, or 8 percent annualized, reflecting expected seasonal growth. Net interest income increased 7 percent over the fourth quarter of 2015, reflecting growth in loan and investment securities interest income and stable funding costs, and we remain well positioned for improved margins, should interest rates rise in 2017. Non-interest income this quarter grew 3 percent compared to the same period last year on continued growth in trust, sweep, deposit and swap fees. Non-interest expense was flat with the prior quarter but was up 3 percent over the same period last year.”

Total assets on Dec. 31, 2016 were $25.6 billion, total loans were $13.4 billion, and total deposits were $21.1 billion. During the quarter, the company signed an agreement to purchase a new core deposit system from Temenos Group AG which is expected to be implemented in 2019. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the Company distributed a 5% stock dividend on its common stock.

The company also paid a cash dividend of $.214 per common share, as restated for the 5 percent stock dividend, and an annualized 6% cash dividend on its preferred stock this quarter.

Commerce Bancshares, Inc. operates in approximately 340 locations in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado. The company also has operating subsidiaries involved in credit related insurance and private equity activities.

Management’s discussion of fourth quarter results, is posted to the company’s web site at www.commercebank.com.

      From the Illinois Business Journal

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